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How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After Giving Birth?

Pregnancy, labor and delivery are still fresh in your mind, but you're wondering when you can start working on baby No. 2. Rushing to have a second child right away can lead to a premature delivery or result in health problems for your baby, according to the United States office on Women's Health.

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Post-Pregnancy Pains

Medical professionals typically recommend abstaining from sex until at least four to six weeks postpartum, according to the KidsHealth website. During the first few weeks after delivery you may experience pains from an episiotomy or tearing, hemorrhoids, bleeding or clot-containing vaginal discharge. Before you even think of trying for another baby, your body needs to heal from the birthing process. Trying to conceive while you're still recovering can slow down the process, reopen tissue that's starting to heal or increase the risk of a postpartum infection.

Recovery Time

Even though you can resume having sex with your partner four to six weeks postpartum -- pending your doctor's orders -- that doesn't mean you are fully recovered. Your body has had nine months to go through the changes of pregnancy, and won't snap back to normal in weeks. The U.S. Office on Women's Health recommends waiting at least 12 months after giving birth before trying to get pregnant again . This gives your body the chance the make a full recovery.

Ovulation Resumes

Although there are health reasons against and risks to getting pregnant within a few months of giving birth, conception is physically possible. In their article "Return of Ovulation and Menses in Postpartum Nonlactating Women: Women: A Systemic Review," Drs. Emily Jackson and Anna Glasier note that nonlactating mothers may start ovulating six weeks postpartum. While the majority of women don't ovulate until this time, it is possible to begin earlier, according to Jackson and Glasier.

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Breastfeeding and Pregnancy

You've waited the suggested 12 months and are ready to start trying again, but you're still breastfeeding. Does this mean that you can't get pregnant? If you haven't started getting your period, your baby is under 6-months-old and your baby exclusively breastfeeds without eating solid foods you have under a 2 percent chance of getting pregnant, according to the Le Leche League. That said, the Le Leche League notes that if you still haven't resumed menstruation, are breastfeeding and your child is over the 6-month mark you may still not be able to get pregnant.

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